Having a mobile phone in the car increases the risk of a road accident – even if it is switched off, research shows.
Volunteers in a study who got behind the wheel with a phone that wasn’t on were much more likely to speed or have a collision than those who left their phones at home.
Between 30 and 40 people a year are killed on Britain’s roads due to accidents linked to drivers’ use of mobile phones.
Researchers said the results show the effect of mobiles on driver behaviour is even greater than thought
Motorists are four times more likely to crash if they take a call or message when driving.
Researchers at Macquarie University in Australia recruited 127 students to take a turn in a driving simulator. Some had no access to a phone while others did but it was either switched off or stashed in a holder.
The volunteers then each completed the exact same route. The results showed drivers anywhere near a phone – even one that was off – made significantly more errors, drove faster and were more likely to collide with other vehicles.
Researchers said the results show the effect of mobiles on driver behaviour is even greater than thought.
It is illegal in the UK to use a hand-held phone while driving, even if stopped or queuing in traffic. But surveys show nearly one in four UK motorists confess to making or receiving calls or texts while behind the wheel – rising to one in two among young drivers.
Between 30 and 40 people a year are killed on Britain’s roads due to accidents linked to drivers’ use of mobile phones
Source: Daily Mail UK